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In recent years the subcompact car class has faltered in popularity, thanks partly to the availability of several fuel-efficient crossover SUVs and midsized hybrids. However, the subcompact class still has a loyal following of drivers looking for cheap, reliable new cars and consumers who enjoy basic transportation without too many frills.

Most recently, the subcompact class has lost a few contenders, with both the Chevy Spark and Toyota Yaris discontinued for the US market. However, this just means subcompact consumers are moving on to other brands to satisfy their needs, and according to U.S. News & World Report, the top two options in the subcompact class are tied for first place. Here is everything you need to know about the two top performers in the subcompact car market.

The 2022 Hyundai Accent is the best subcompact car 

At the top of the subcompact class, according to U.S. News, is the Hyundai Accent. The 2022 Hyundai Accent is a subcompact that brings a sophisticated and seasoned visual package. Even though the Accent is small, it offers seating for five passengers, a solid infotainment system, and excellent fuel economy at 33 mpg city/41 mpg highway.

The 2022 Hyundai Accent is simpler than ever, with only one engine option for every trim level, a 120-horsepower four-cylinder engine paired with a CVT automatic transmission. 

The Hyundai Accent starts at $16,645 MSRP for the SE base level trim. The SEL trim is a step above the SE and offers a 7-inch touchscreen, multiple USB ports, and Apple CarPlay/Andriod Auto for $17,900 MSRP. The top-level Hyundai Accent is the Limited trim, which offers a sunroof, heated front seats, hands-free trunk release, push-button start, automatic climate control, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking, all for $19,600 MSRP.

With the Hyundai Accent receiving all four and five-star safety ratings from the NHTSA, a five-year 60,000-mile limited warranty, and a ten-year 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, this is a small, efficient compact that is safe and affordable for any driver on the road.

The 2022 Nissan Versa tied with the Accent for first place

A red 2022 Nissan Versa subcompact car parked in front of a garage
2022 Nissan Versa | Nissan

Nissan Versa Named ‘Most Appealing’ Small Car by J.D. Power For the 3rd Year In a Row

Tied with the Hyundai Accent for the top spot in U.S. News’ rankings of the best subcompact cars is the 2022 Nissan Versa. The Nissan Versa stands out from the competition due in part to its impressive interior, which many critics have commented on the quality of. 

In fact, the small car offers a large trunk, seating for five passengers, and a good amount of standard safety features, including a forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and a rear-view camera.

The Nissan Versa comes in three different trim levels; the S, which acts as the base model. This model starts at $15,080 MSRP. The SV, which starts at $17,890 MSRP and includes blind spot monitoring, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. And, finally, the SR, which adds proximity keyless entry, remote start, and optional heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, and automatic climate control for $18,490 MSRP. 

Every Nissan Versa comes with a 122 horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine comes paired to a manual transmission in the S model, or a CVT in the SV and the SR trim. The base S model can also be had with a CVT as an option. The Versa has great fuel economy, too, with an EPA-estimated 32 mpg city/40 mpg highway.

The Nissan Versa received all four and five-star safety ratings from the NHTSA. It also comes with a three-year 36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty from the factory.

Which is the best subcompact car for you?

With both options being ranked at the top of their class by U.S. News, it all comes down to what you are looking for in a subcompact car. The 2022 Hyundai Accent offers a simple, basic package that gives you incredible peace of mind. Still, the new Nissan Versa offers a refined interior space, a manual transmission, and a slightly more powerful engine. Both subcompacts offer nearly identical fuel economy ratings, and the starting price is almost identical. As a buyer, you really can’t go wrong with either of these subcompacts!